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rower shall be obliged to pay, with the yearly interest, one tenth part of the principal, which sums of principal and interest, so paid in, shall be again let out to fresh borrowers.
And, as it is presumed that there will always be found in Boston virtuous and benevolent citizens, willing to bestow a part of their time in doing good to the rising generation, by superintending and managing this institution gratis, it is hoped, that no part of the money will at any time be dead, or be diverted to other purposes, but be continually augmenting by the interest; in which case there may, in time, be more than the occasions in Boston shall require, and then some may be spared to the neighbouring or other towns in the said State of Massachusetts, who may desire to have it; such towns engaging to pay punctually the interest and the portions of the principal, annually, to the inhabitants of the town of Boston.
If this plan is executed, and succeeds as projected without interruption for one hundred years, the sum will then be one hundred and thirty-one thousand pounds; of which I would have the managers of the donation to the town of Boston then lay out, at their discretion, one hundred thousand pounds in public works, which may be judged of most general utility to the inhabitants; such as fortifications, bridges, aqueducts, public buildings, baths, pavements, or whatever may make living in the town more convenient to its people, and render it more agreeable to strangers resorting thither for health or a temporary residence. The remaining thirty-one thousand pounds I would have continued to be let out on interest, in the manner above directed, for another hundred years, as I hope it will have been found that the institution has had a good effect on the conduct of youth, and been of service to many worthy characters and useful citizens. At the end of this second term, if no unfortunate accident has prevented the operation, the sum will be four millions and sixty-one thousand pounds sterling; of which I leave one million sixty-one thousand pounds to the disposition of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and three millions to the disposition of the government of the State, not presuming to carry my views farther.
All the directions herein given, respecting the disposition and management of the donation to the inhabitants of Boston, I would have observed respecting that to the inhabitants of Philadelphia, only, as Philadelphia is incorporated, I request the corporation of that city to undertake the management agreeably to the said directions; and I do hereby vest them with full and ample powers for that purpose. And, having considered that the covering a ground plat with buildings and pavements, which carry off most of the rain, and prevent its soaking into the earth and renewing and purifying the springs, whence the water of the wells must gradually grow worse, and in time be unfit for use, as I find has happened in all old cities, I recommend, that at the end of the first hundred years, if not done before, the corporation of the city employ a part of the hundred thousand pounds in bringing, by pipes, the water of Wissahickon Creek into the town, so as to supply the inhabitants, which I apprehend may be done without great difficulty, the level of that Creek being much above that of the city, and may be made higher by a dam. I also recommend making the Schuylkill completely navigable. At the end of the second hundred years, I would have the disposition of the four million and sixty one thousand pounds divided between the inhabitants of the city of Philadelphia and the government of Pennsylvania, in the same manner as herein directed with respect to that of the inhabitants of Boston and the government of Massachusetts.
It is my desire, that this institution should take place and begin to operate within one year after my decease; for which purpose, due notice should be publicly given previous to the expiration of that year, that those for whose benefit this establishment is intended may make their respective applications. And I hereby direct my executors, the survivors or survivor of them, within six months after my decease, to pay over the said sum of two thousand pounds sterling to such persons as shall be duly appointed by the selectmen of Boston, and the corporation of Philadelphia, to receive and take charge of their respective sums, of one thousand pounds each, for the purposes aforesaid.
Considering the accidents to which all human affairs and projects are subject in such a length of time, I have, perhaps, too much flattered myself with a vain fancy, that these dispositions, if carried into execution, will be continued without interruption and have the effects proposed. I hope, however, that if the inhabitants of the two cities should not think fit to undertake the execution, they will, at least, accept the offer of these donations as a mark of my good will, a token of my gratitude, and a testimony of my earnest desire to be useful to them after my departure. I wish, indeed, that they may both undertake to endeavour the execution of the project, because I think, that, though unforeseen difficulties may arise, expedients will be found to remove them, and the scheme be found practicable. If one of them accepts the money, with the conditions, and the other refuses, my will then is, that both sums be given to the inhabitants of the city accepting the whole, to be applied to the same purposes, and under the same regulations directed for the separate parts; and, if both refuse, the money of course remains in the mass of my estate, and is to be disposed of therewith according to my will made the seventeenth day of July, 1788.
I wish to be buried by the side of my wife, if it may be, and that a marble stone, to be made by Chambers, six feet long, four feet wide, plain, with only a small moulding round the upper edge, and this inscription,
Benjamin 7 And > Franklin.
to be placed over us both.
My fine crabtree walking-stick, with a gold head curiously wrought in the form of the cap of liberty, I give to my friend, and the friend of mankind, General Washington. If it were a sceptre, he has merited it and would become it. It was a present to me from that excellent woman, Madame de Forbach, the Dowager Duchess of Deux-Ponts, connected with some verses, which should go with it.
I give my gold watch to my son-in-law Richard Bache, and also the gold watch-chain of the thirteen United States, which I have not yet worn. My time-piece, that stands in my library, I give to my grandson, William Temple Franklin. I give him also my Chinese gong. To my dear old friend, Mrs. Mary Hewson, I give one of my silver tankards marked, for her use during her life, and after her decease I give it to her daughter Eliza. I give to her son, William Hewson, who is my godson, my new quarto bible, Oxford edition, to be for his family bible, and also the botanic description of the plants in the Emperor's garden at Vienna, in folio, with colored cuts. And to her son, Thomas Hewson, I give a set of Spectators, Tatlers, and Guardians, handsomely bound.
There is an error in my will, where the bond of William Temple Franklin is mentioned as being for four thousand pounds sterling, whereas it is but for three thousand five hundred pounds.
I give to my executors, to be divided equally among those that act, the sum of sixty pounds sterling, as some compensation for their trouble in the execution of my will; and I request my friend, Mr. Duffield, to accept moreover my French Wayweiser, a piece of
Vol. i. 77
clockwork in brass, to be fixed to the wheel of any carriage; and that my friend, Mr. Hill, may also accept my silver cream-pot, formerly given to me by the good Dr. Fothergill, with the motto, keep bright the chain. My reflecting telescope, made by Short, which was formerly Mr. Canton's, I give to my friend, Mr. DavidRittenhouse, for the use of his observatory.
My picture, drawn by Martin in 1767, I give to the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, if they shall be pleased to do me the honor of accepting it, and placing it in their chamber.
Since my will was made, I have bought some more city lots near the centre part of the estate of Joseph Dean. I would have them go with the other lots, disposed of in my will; and I do give the same to my son-in-law, Richard Bache, his heirs and assigns forever.
In addition to the annuity left to my sister in my will, of fifty pounds sterling during her life, I now add thereto ten pounds sterling more, in order to make the sum sixty pounds.
I give twenty guineas to my good friend and physician, Dr. John Jones.
With regard to the separate bequests made to my daughter Sarah in my will, my intention is, that the same shall be for her sole and separate use, notwithstanding her coverture, or whether she be covert or sole; and I do give my executors so much right and power therein, as may be necessary to render my intention effectual in that respect only. This provision for my daughter is not made out of any disrespect I have for her husband.
And lastly, it is my desire, that this my present codicil be annexed to, and considered as part of, my last will and testament to all intents and purposes.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-third day of June, anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
B. Franklin. Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the abovenamed Benjamin Franklin to be a Codicil to his last will and testament, in the presence of us.
Francis Bailey,Thomas Lang,
NOTE BY THE EDITOR.
The experiment of nearly half a century has not produced all the beneficial results, which were anticipated by Dr. Franklin, from his bequest to Boston and Philadelphia. The following is an extract from a printed Report of the Committee of Legacies and Trusts, made in the Common Council of Philadelphia. April 27th, 1837, by Mr. John Thomason, chairman of the Committee.
"From official returns," says the Report, "it appears, that up to the 1st of January, 1637, the fund has been borrowed by one hundred and ninetythree individuals, in sums mostly of jj! 260 each. At that date, the fund was in the hands of one hundred and twelve beneficiaries, of whom nineteen have paid neither principal nor interest, although the accounts of some of them have been open for a period of thirty-four years. Ninety other persons stand indebted in sums from $ 21 to $ 292; and three, having borrowed within the year, were not, at the last-mentioned date, liable to any demand by the trustees. Of these one hundred and nine cases of non-compliance with the terms of the will, fifty-eight bonds may be subject to a plea of the statute of limitation, and the rest are still valid. In this condition of the fund, it becomes difficult to estimate its present value. Should all the debts be recovered, the amount of the fund would be $23,627-09; but, from the length of time elapsed since the date of many of those bonds, such a result is hopeless; and even this latter sum, large as it is, is below the amount it would have attained at this time, had the intentions of the testator been fully carried out. The original bequest of $ 4,444'44, at compound interest for forty-five years, would be $ 39,833-29; and, although the immediate conversion of interest into principal, as the former becomes due, is not always practicable, yet it is believed, that, with careful management, the fund would, at this time, have lacked but little of that amount. How far the fund falls short, may be partly judged from the actual receipts on account of this legacy for the last ten years. During that time the sum of $ 16,191-92 has been paid in. As this period included the term for lending out, and receiving back with interest, the whole fund, the receipts within that term may be taken as a safe approximation to its real value; to which must be added the sum to be obtained through the enforcing of payment, by legal process, from such securities as may be good at this late day. Had the fund been placed at simple interest, it would have amounted to the last-mentioned sum by this time.
"Had the requirements of the will been, in former years, fully complied with, the operation of the fund, at this day, would be sensibly felt by the mechanics of Philadelphia. Passing from one borrower to another, and increasing in a compound ratio, its effect would be to stimulate useful industry, which, without such capital, would have remained unproductive. It would have increased the number of those who do business on their own stock. It would be a standing lesson on the immutable connexion between capital and productive industry, thus constantly inciting to economy and prudence. It would have become the reward of every faithful apprentice, who could look forward to a participation in its benefit. It is deeply to be regretted, that this state of things, which had so captivated the imagination of Franklin that he devoted a portion of his hard-earned wealth to realize it for the mechanics of Philadelphia, should, in the emphatic language of his will, prove ' a vain fancy.'"
By this statement it would seem, that there had been at some time a remarkable want of fidelity in administering the trust, especially in allowing so lorgs